"And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen." Mark 16:20
Right before He was taken up into heaven, Jesus gives what is known as the "great commission," setting His church on mission to "make disciples of all the nations." Even today, 2 millennia later and with seemingly limitless resources, media, and technology, there is still a significant portion of the world without an adequate gospel witness. Never mind the enormity of the unfulfilled mission still before us, have you ever stopped to consider the enormity of the task that was being handed to the disciples at the time?
At a time when most people lived their life within a 30 mile radius, the disciples were being tasked with evangelizing the whole world. Not only that, but their message was one of self-sacrifice as they exhorted people to deny themselves, take up their crosses (instruments of a tortuous death and symbols of Roman occupation), and follow a man who had been rejected and condemned by both the Jews and the Romans.
That last point is significant. The disciples initially though they were limited to existing social networks within Judaism, but it was the Jewish establishment that had delivered Jesus to death. Christianity was viewed at the time as a Jewish sect however, so was largely rejected by the Greeks and the Romans (at least initially). They were rejected by the Gentiles as an ethnic Jewish sect, and rejected by the Jews as outsiders.
Moreover, theirs was a message that promised persecution! (2 Tim 3:12) So, just to summarize the situation, Jesus was commanding His followers to convince people to become rejected by the world, live a life of self-sacrifice, and willingly suffer persecution in order to follow a man that they were told had died and was resurrected. Sounds like a tough sell to me! BUT, here's the thing...
The scripture says that the Lord worked with them, "confirming the word through the accompanying signs." Jesus himself, through the Holy Spirit, was their great co-laborer! Jesus Himself confirmed the truth through signs and miracles. He provided hope and fulfillment and love and peace. Most importantly, he provides redemption; reconciliation with God and eternal life. He directed the efforts of His followers, provided for their every need throughout their adventurous and powerfully influential lives, and walked with them every step.
Jesus Himself is our great co-laborer! He is our collaborator on the greatest project of all, His great rescue mission to seek out and to save His lost sheep.
And here's the best part: He is still doing this in the lives of His followers! Jesus Himself is our great co-laborer! He is our collaborator on the greatest project of all, His great rescue mission to seek out and to save His lost sheep. In our ministry, we are given the privilege to pour into the lives of international university students. We plant the seeds and water when we are able but ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who softens heart and who causes the seeds to grow.
We feed them and sow the Word into their lives. We give passionate presentations of the gospel. We provide the Bibles in their heart languages. We provide social activities and community. We provide what they sorely miss: family. Love. Friendship. But ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit who will convince them of the truth and who will draw them. It is He who will give the increase.
Whatever the Lord has given you to do, don't see the impossibility of the task. Rather, recognize the great privilege we are given of working with the King of all kings to fulfill His mission. It is truly a blessed thing!
We are praying for faithful partners who stand with us to provide for this great rescue mission as we seek to make disciples of all the nations. Would you consider partnering with us to enable us to continue to make disciples of all nations? Please follow the below link:
Would you like to learn more about our ministry?